- Samboja says timely passing of the budget signified a new dawn for the county.
- Taita Taveta survived dissolution last year and the assembly and executive seem to have learned the hard way.
Governors embroiled in disagreements with MCAs have been invited to Taita Taveta to learn how to solve the differences.
Taita Taveta survived dissolution last year and the assembly and executive seem to have learned the hard way.
The MCAs unanimously passed a motion to impeach Governor Granton Samboja after he declined to assent to the county budget for the financial year 2019-020.
Samboja said last year’s disagreement was an indication that both teams were determined to serve the residents.
“Governors are having it rough across the country with MCAs pushing for their ouster. I want to invite you here for benchmarking. Come and learn from us. We were there and we overcame,” Samboja told journalists in Mwatate.
Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru is the latest to survive the assembly’s wrath after a Senate committee acquitted her.
Speaking at his Mwatate office on Friday when he assented to the 2020-2021 Sh5.7 billion budget, Samboja said timely passing of the budget signified a new dawn for the county.
He was accompanied by MACs and executive members who pledged to work together to implement the budget.
The county boss warned government officials against misappropriation of funds and urged procurement officers to observe the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act that gives guidelines for sourcing for goods and services.
The county government must get value for money and give people service, he said.
“Proper utilisation of these funds is non-negotiable. Those in positions of authority including accounting officers and procurement officers must be reminded that misuse of public funds is punishable,” Samboja said.
The largest share of the county’s budget has been allocated to the Department of Devolution, Public Service and Administration.
Sh2.1 billion has been set aside to cater for salaries and expenses of the county government, an indication of the rising wage bill.
Other high beneficiaries in the budget are the departments of Health, allocated Sh501 million and Water, Environment and Sanitation (Sh454 million).
A substantial amount of resources was allocated to Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Department as the county seeks to improve food production.
Samboja said the funds allocated to Health will go a long way in mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The amounts will also see the equipping of our main referral hospital and subcounty hospitals with essential drugs and other medical services,” he said.
He said Sh172 million had been set aside for the department of Education, Libraries and ICT to boost performance.
Finance and Economic Planning executive Andrew Kubo noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the economic outlook of the county, with the rising cost of living further affecting local revenue.
“We have moved with speed to lessen the burden of doing business by doing away with market fees and levies for a period of two months to protect our farmers and traders from the harsh economic times,” he said.
Kubo lauded the MCAs for passing the budget and urged the youth and women to take advantage of the budget and apply for tenders. .
Edited by Henry Makori